The Offshore New Harbour Project: Deciphering the Middle Miocene through Late Eocene seismic stratigraphy of Offshore New Harbour, western Ross Sea, Antarctica
Stephen F. Pekar, Marvin A. Speece, Gary S. Wilson, David S. Sunwall, Kirsty J. Tinto, 2013. "The Offshore New Harbour Project: Deciphering the Middle Miocene through Late Eocene seismic stratigraphy of Offshore New Harbour, western Ross Sea, Antarctica", Antarctic Palaeoenvironments and Earth-Surface Processes, M. J. Hambrey, P. F. Barker, P. J. Barrett, V. Bowman, B. Davies, J. L. Smellie, M. Tranter
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In the Austral spring of 2008, over 48 km of multi-channel seismic data were collected offshore of New Harbour, which is located in the western most Ross Sea, Antarctica. This project is part of the ANDRILL (Antarctic Geological Drilling) Programme's Offshore New Harbour Project, with its aim to investigate the stratigraphic and tectonic history of the inner shelf of southern McMurdo Sound. Correlating the seismic data to CIROS-1 and ANDRILL AND-2A drillholes provided age dates ranging from Late Miocene to at least Late Eocene for the reflectors and lithological descriptions for the seismic units. This permitted development of a glacial history of this area, resulting in dividing the seismic data into three units: an Upper Eocene–Lower Oligocene unit; an Upper Oligocene–Lower Miocene unit; and a Middle Miocene and younger unit. The seismic section below 700 mbsf has two possible interpretations: (1) substantial Eocene strata are present downdip of CIROS-1, which would represent a potential future-drilling objective for the ANDRILL Programme; or (2) these reflectors may be equivalent to Devonian strata recovered at the Cape Roberts 3 as the two-way traveltime of Eocene and Devonian strata are nearly identical, making it difficult to discriminate between them in seismic data.
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Antarctic Palaeoenvironments and Earth-Surface Processes
The volume highlights developments in our understanding of the palaeogeographical, palaeobiological, palaeoclimatic and cryospheric evolution of Antarctica. It focuses on the sedimentary record from the Devonian to the Quaternary Period. It features tectonic evolution and stratigraphy, as well as processes taking place adjacent to, beneath and beyond the ice-sheet margin, including the continental shelf.
The contributions in this volume include several invited review papers, as well as original research papers arising from the International Symposium on Antarctic Earth Sciences in Edinburgh, in July 2011. These papers demonstrate a remarkable diversity of Earth science interests in the Antarctic. Following international trends, there is particular emphasis on the Cenozoic Era, reflecting the increasing emphasis on the documentation and understanding of the past record of ice-sheet fluctuations. Furthermore, Antarctic Earth history is providing us with important information about potential future trends, as the impact of global warming is increasingly felt on the continent and its ocean.